Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute to support wider adoption of breastfeeding through $1.3M subcontract

October 1, 2020

This is the logo of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute.

Breastfeeding is a vital component of newborn and early child health, and members of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health are on the case.

Faculty and staff within CGBI have received a subcontract for $1,352,970 from Abt Associates, which is building on a history of supporting breastfeeding with a new contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Building on their strong relationship with the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Abt will provide training and technical assistance on the implementation of the World Health Organization and UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding during a four-year, $4.3 million contract.

The program’s goal is to support the adoption of early and exclusive breastfeeding among culturally and racially diverse populations. Abt will recruit up to 130 hospitals to participate in skills-based competency training for health practitioners with the overall aims of:

  • Improving breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity rates; and
  • Reducing racial/ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic disparities in breastfeeding.
Catherine Sullivan (left) and Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist

Catherine Sullivan (left) and Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist

At CGBI, the co-principal investigators are Director Catherine Sullivan, MPH, RDN, LDN, IBCLE, RLC, FAND, and Aunchalee Palmquist, PhD, IBCLC — both assistant professor of maternal and child health. Other CGBI staff currently working on the project are Gigi Lawless, Julia Bourg, Jacquana Smith, Michelle Hendricks, Kathy Parry and Eliana Mundul.

“Abt’s mission is to improve people’s health and well-being, and it’s hard to think of a better way to fulfill our mission than supporting the health of newborns and mothers,” said Christopher Spera, PhD, division vice president of Health and Environment at Abt. “We look forward to continuing our work in this arena alongside our partners, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute and Population Health Improvement Partners.”

Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at

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